Friday, January 20, 2017

Art Away

As my blog title kind of implies, riding and art are two hobbies that I spend a lot of my time and funds on. Riding is really more of a “lifestyle” than a hobby of course but for all intents and purposes! Well at the end of every year, I do a clean-up of my laptop and archive the year's folders on an external drive. When I got to my art folder for 2016, it was only a handful of files thick...An extremely sad sight to behold. While I do doodle and sketch a lot (as evidenced by my Instagram posts), the overall time spent doing finished art is few and far in between. For someone who could be found scribbling away every spare moment she had this is a huge departure from the norm.

Since I started riding a little over 3 years ago, the amount of art I produce has tapered off to almost nothing. More riding is certainly a not bad thing at all (and I'm not going to be riding any less!) but it does take away from the overall "budget" of free time that I usually had spent on art. Hence one of my resolutions for 2017 to re-balance the time I spend on other miscellaneous things (mostly Netflix shows, oops) so I have more time to draw this year.

I did not set any hard fast goals in terms of “must produce X number of pieces per month” but since this IS a horse blog, I’ll aim to do a few equine-themed things so I have subject appropriate content to post here. To start things for 2017, here is a custom t-shirt I made for myself a few weeks ago.

With my little art studio corner nook in the background

I have been searching for more clothing in my ride colors and really wanted something custom. Problem is I've never been hugely impressed by the endurance/Arabian horse designs I’ve seen on the market and the cost for a shirt or hoodie on online printing websites was a bit much for just a single, 1 item order. 

My solution? Go DIY. I started off by brainstorming and doodling lots of rough concepts. After picking out my favorite, I used mareface as the lovely horse model and rendered the final design digitally using Photoshop. My fellow artists might contend that Illustrator would have been better program; I would agree but I LOATHE using vectors and would have had to teach myself how again.

After I got the graphic correctly sized for a shirt of my size and printed out on paper, I used an craft blade to create the stencil. The rest of it was just mixed acrylic paint, lots of patience, and a good music playlist. This was really a test piece to learn from but I think it came out rather well. It was nice little project to start off the creative year and a simple, cheap way to liven up a plain t-shirt- I think the entire project cost me less than $5 total as I had most materials already. I think it's within the scope of most DIYers if they wanted to give it a try- the hardest part was being careful with gradually applying paint in the smaller areas. No heavy handedness!

The best thing about this design though is I can totally reuse it for making decals/stickers (comes as no surprise I already have the materials for that? lol) or even adapt it into a personal logo of sorts. To be honest, I have a simpler design in the works for the latter but this one did come out pretty nice...hmm!

That aside, my next art projects will probably be mostly digital portrait-style paintings.

Speedpaint portrait I did earlier this month of my parents' JRT, Jamie 

I'll probably do one of Quest (whenever I snag a picture of her that I like enough to actually paint) first so I can see how much time it takes me to put something out of quality for the respective cost but I'm planning to open up for a few commissions drawing other people's critters. I've gotten quite a bit of interest from FB friends since posting Jamie's portrait on my page so that was very encouraging. I'd love to have art commissions become a bigger part of my life again! 

13 comments:

  1. very nice! Did you create the stencil so you can reuse it? Fun to make your own stuff (But I will nag: do it in vector! You'll have so many options, Illustrator isn't so bad...). I do art all day too, but I still love to craft at home (and for me not on the computer, too much of that all day!). Can't wait to see your drawing of Quest!

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    1. Since this was mostly a test thing re: size and design complexity, I used paper but it wouldn't be too hard to make one out of thin plastic. And yes I know haha should probably reteach myself how to use vectors someday...

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  2. Your shirt is awesome! I wish I was remotely artistic....I can't even draw a stick horse haha

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    1. Practice! I started off with stick lines years ago :D

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  3. It turned out fantastic! Love it!

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    1. Thank you! And so glad to see you back, it's been much too long since I last heard from you <3

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  4. Love your shirt. you make it sound so easy! I have no artistic ability or patience.

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    1. The concept is simple but a ton of patience definitely is needed lol I almost botched the thinner lines a couple times in my hurry and excitement

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  5. That turned out really nicely!!

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    1. Thanks, it's all about the matchy-matchy ;)

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